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UPDATE 2-EDF seeks to replace Edison CEO with own exec
April 1, 2011 / 12:05 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-EDF seeks to replace Edison CEO with own exec

* EDF exec proposed to succeed Quadrino as Edison CEO

* Rome passed rules to protect Italy strategic companies

* EDF-A2A Edison revamping deal offered French control

(Releads, adds detail, background, Edison statement)

By Christian Plumb and Stephen Jewkes

PARIS/MILAN, April 1 (Reuters) - EDF (EDF.PA) will seek to replace the chief executive at Italy’s Edison EDN.MI with its own choice as the French utility regroups for a fight over control of Italy’s No. 2 power generator.

EDF controls Edison with Italian regional utility A2A (A2.MI) through a complex shareholder pact. In March it agreed with A2A to extend the pact to Sept. 15, buying time to win over the Italian government on a proposed deal that would give the French group control of Edison.

EDF said on Friday it was nominating EDF executive Bruno Lescoeur to replace Umberto Quadrino as chief executive. Lescoeur, already a board member at Edision, is one of six new board members EDF is proposing for the company.

EDF, which is keen to develop its presence in Italy, is unhappy with the way Edison is managed, sources close to the group have told Reuters. [ID:nLDE7290Y4]

Rome passed a decree this week setting up barriers against foreign takeovers of certain industries deemed to be strategic.

Following French luxury group LVMH's (LVMH.PA) $5 billion acquisition of Italy's Bulgari and Lactalis's interest in taking control of dairy group Parmalat (PLT.MI), Rome is reluctant to see another flagship Italian company fall into French hands. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Edison's shareholding structure: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

A2A, which is selling assets to reduce debt, has said it too is unhappy with results at Edison and about its say in running the company.

Giuliano Zuccoli, who is chairman of both A2A and Edison, said on Wednesday it was hard to see EDF’s position in Edison being changed.

“EDF now has 50 percent. It is difficult to imagine a law being passed to change this,” he said. [ID:nLDE72T1AS]

Italian state-controlled power group Enel (ENEI.MI) is considering a proposal to buy Edison assets to help the government in its attempts to keep key companies out of foreign hands, a source said last week. [ID:nLDE72O0VU]

At 1402 GMT, Edison shares were down 1.5 percent at 0.777 euros while the STOXX Europe 600 Utility index .SX6P was up 0.42 percent. (Editing by James Regan, Mike Nesbit)

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